Freedom Day

This is a day later than planned but I just wanted to mark this so called ‘Freedom Day’; my daughter Luna’s first day of life without Covid related legal restrictions. In reality, not much will change for us right now, but it is a big day for the country. We have friends whose businesses can reopen, musicians who can go back to work and, more generally, people should feel able to start taking some control back around how they choose to live. Sadly, I can already sense more division coming…

This momentous thing we’ve all been through is something that connects us all. We have seen that despite our differences, every human being on the planet can be affected by the same invisible, microscopic enemy, and all our lives radically changed over night. But when countries really work together, when lives become a priority over profit, when helping another also helps us too, we can get things done we never thought possible. (Imagine if the same level of global effort now turned to climate change…)

Fist bump in clinical gloves

Of course the virus hasn’t gone just because people are calling it ‘Freedom Day’. We’ve developed a means to slow and reduce its impact, but I personally know healthy and vaccinated people who have caught and been ill with it, and the numbers suggest we’re not out of the woods yet. So with a baby and a clinically vulnerable partner, we will be continuing to reintegrate at a steady pace, but with respect for all those who are ready to get their lives back after following rules for so long. Fill up music venues again, dance, hug each other if that’s right for you. Of course I hope you try to do it as safely as you can and remain conscious of the risks to you and your more vulnerable friends and family members. Give space. Be patient. Take a test. Also try to remember people continuing to wear masks aren’t all sheep. People refusing the vaccine aren’t all selfish. We’re all handling this with our unique personal circumstances in mind and in the way our lives have conditioned us to interpret our situation.

If you are an anti-masker, anti-vaxxer or conspiracy theorist, then you’re still my fellow human. While I may disagree with you, I value your right to have a different view and make different choices to me, providing you’re not putting my loved ones or any unaware people at risk. We can stay in our lanes and still communicate with each other. If we’re ever going to bridge the gap then we have to, don’t we? Of course I’m not condoning the blatant sharing of misinformation or poorly researched theories as ‘truth’. But we get to choose if and how we respond to opposing views, and since when did insulting or belittling someone ever change their mind? All the impatience and anger just stops people from listening and learning from each other. I appreciate that fear manifests in many different ways, but seeing people taking pleasure in berating each other over their personal choices feels more dystopian to me than the pandemic itself.

Mainstream media and all the interlinked corporate and political interests muddy the waters of what ‘truth’ is ever really available to us and that is scary at the best of times, but it’s borderline abusive during a global catastrophe. At least right now, on an individual level, most of us have immediate access to the world’s information at our fingertips. We don’t have to listen to any single news source, we can do away with partisan news altogether if we choose and look to the qualified scientists. Even then, Bayesian reasoning will be needed to reach a consensus. One can always find anomalies that fit with our negativity bias or support our tendency for mistrust in the systems that govern us. Before accepting, and especially before sharing, we should at least be double checking sources. We should also pay particular attention to where the source’s ultimate interests lie, ruling out spurious or questionable information and trying to find what is the most likely and probable reality: the closest thing to truth available to us. Then we can apply that to our own personal circumstances, accepting that these differ wildly from others. We can use critical thinking to find our way, but can’t we also at least try to understand where someone with an alternative view is coming from and what led them there? We don’t have to be surprised or triggered that someone else’s path is different to ours, and we certainly shouldn’t need to force our own ways onto them.

Right now we must be extra vigilant to external forces affecting our behaviour towards each other. Despite enjoying some lost freedoms, we may still be contained by the language and labels given to us by those who wield power. As long as we see everything as a binary, we will forever remain divided. Why must the world be either locked down or free? People either good or bad, for or against, right or wrong? I’d like to call for some middle ground. I’m not talking about sitting on the fence either. I’m asking can we kick the fence down and sit somewhere we can talk to people on both sides? Somewhere we can be social, but at a distance we’re all comfortable with.

10 Days of Positivity – Day 8 – Life is like a camera

So I’ve been having a few memory issues, nothing serious and my memory has never been particularly good but since noticing this more recently, I have taken even more care to try and get a photo of the great things that happen around me, just in case I might go and forget them! I think it’s so cool how cameras use a method similar to our own eyes (LOOK!) and capture photographs that can be like extensions to our memory.

To help me be mindful and thankful for the people and experiences around me, I am devoting today to photographs!

To try and make the most of my photos, I set folders of them as my screen saver. It helps that my computer is plugged into my TV so I often have photos cycling through. Most TVs nowadays have a USB slot so even if you don’t have your computer plugged in, you can fill a USB up with your photos and do the same. It is a nice way to make sure the photos we go to the effort of taking get the enjoyment they deserve, instead of just sitting on a hard drive as they so often do!

I have also started making little videos of some of my photos. Here’s one of family times over Christmas and Boxing day!

And of the fun times bringing in the New Year at the Freeman’s!

I enjoyed doing them so much I went back through the amazing year I have had and included some of the best bits which make me feel lucky to be alive surrounded by the amazing, creative and legendary people I am!

I know this is all very personal to me but I just wanted to show people how it’s a nice way to make use of photos! All you need is Windows Movie Maker and it’s dead simple! I would love to see some of your videos! Why not give it a go?!

Photo’s are pretty awesome now, but I grew up in a time when they weren’t so convenient. 1 reel of 25 photos cost a fair few quid to get developed, you had to wait a few days to get them back and that was just for the little tiny prints. So not only did you have to remember your camera, which was a big ugly bulky thing anyway, but you also had to be ready for the moments that were worthy, then wait for the right second to take just one snap and hope it was a good one. Suffice to say I have hundreds of shit, badly focussed photos in my loft now gathering dust.

Now, how about a look at the biggest space photo ever taken? Some German astronomers took a 46 billion pixel photo of our galaxy. It’s 146 gigabytes and is the biggest ever photo of the Milky Way! You can click here for a tool that lets you scan around it and zoom in!

Or the Blue Marble photo. Imagine being out there and knowing that everyone in the world is being captured in your photo!


Here is a collection of 100 non photo-shopped photos and pretty much all of them are breath taking!

How awesome is it that a majority of us now have a camera in our pocket which is capable of taking great photos? And if they aren’t great, they can be instantly deleted without cost to us and then years worth of them can all be stored in this tiny organised electronic box (Here’s some interesting info about our current levels of data storage). This gives us a much better chance to enhance our memories than ever before and let’s us keep our life altering moments safe forever, well providing you back them up!

I think it’s important to mention that while taking photos of the things we do is fun, it is changing us and having that technology in our pockets can make it tempting to constantly feel like we should be using it. Prince banned cameras and phones from his last concert and, being vertically challenged, it was really nice to have a clear view for once! As much as I love to take loads of photos I am also trying to keep reminding myself to enjoy the moment for what it is too so that I don’t just see life through a screen! Check this article on how selfie culture is changing our lives.